When someone chooses cremation it is a very private one. Whether you are making the choice for yourself or for a loved one, your options can be effected by many issues.
1. Some people have a fear of close spaces. Very often the idea of burial is particularly terrifying for these people and they pre-arrange their cremation.
Some people have a severe psychological or pathological fear of burial in the ground or a tomb. This thought can often leave people in a panic so if they pre-plan their arrangements for after they die; many times they are much better able to cope with their own death.
2. Some find the concept of having their ashes or the ashes of their loved one scattered on the wind or water to be a very beautiful thought.
After cremation, the "ashes" are returned to the family of the deceased.
Depending on the wishes of the family, the cremains can be placed in a special urn called a "cinerary" urn which is sealed or in a small wooden or metal box.
Sometimes, however, the cremains (especially if they are going to be scattered) are returned to the family in a plastic-lined, cardboard box. Many people, however, prefer the notion of "scattering" the ashes. Some cemeteries are now offering "scattering gardens" on cemetery property, but further away from the grave sites. Here, the family of the deceased has the opportunity to scatter the cremains in an attractive, but controlled setting. In many cases, the cemetery offers an opportunity to place a plaque in honor of the deceased on a wall or bench within the scattering garden.
Some people prefer to scatter the cremains in places that were meaningful to their loved one. It's important to check the laws in that area to make sure that the disposition of cremains is not illegal. Many areas have guidelines which govern this including the scattering of remains in public water.
3. There's freedom in planning the funeral service. In preparing for cremation, the family of the deceased (unless pre-instructed) will need to decide whether or not they will have a traditional funeral prior to the cremation.
When a loved one gets cremated, you have lifted yourself from having to be compliant with the restrictions that are part of a traditional funeral. There is no specific time frame in which the funeral must be held. There is also no specific place where it must be held. If the family so desires, they can have a traditional funeral in conjunction with a cremation but they don't have to. That is what many are finding to be very attractive.
Very often a memorial service is held after cremation has occurred or perhaps the family will want to gather at a convenient time for the final committal of the cremated remains.